How Can Young Adults Protect Their Lives From Predators?
As young adults you embark on a journey as a college student, service member, or even another job in the workforce. You’re thinking about having the rest of your life to live but because of lack of experience you have poor judgment. Repeatedly we hear news reports about many young adults being slain such as the following:
1. Charlottesville, Virginia, Morgan Dana Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student who was last seen at a Metallica concert.
2. El Dorado, Kansas, 18-year-old Emily Sander was last seen when she left an El Dorado, Kansas, bar with a man.
3. Kutztown, Pennsylvania, Kyle Quinn, 19 A Kutztown University student was beaten to death on a downtown sidewalk.
4. New Haven, Connecticut, Annie Le, 24, was found in the wall of a Yale University laboratory building.
It’s human nature to have your guard down during comfortable situations. In order for young adults to improve their situation awareness they need to understand their lives can always be at risk. Situation awareness involves being aware of what is happening around you. Lack of situation awareness is a primary reason why tragedies occur. Teaching young adults early to never let their guard down because someone may take advantage is a critical building block for adulthood development.
3 questions young adults should ask themselves continuously are:
1. Where Am I – know your location and let someone know you’re there.
2. What hazards exist – where are my exits because large crowds make exits a challenge to get to.
3. How close is security – where is the nearest security force e.g. security guard or security phone.
Simple steps on how to be street-safe:
Late Night Walking
o Keep to well-lit streets and away from potential danger spots, dark alleys, waste ground and shortcuts.
o Be aware of your surroundings. A personal stereo or too much alcohol can distract you.
o Have your keys in your hand ready to open the door. Don’t wait until you’re at the door before looking for your keys.
Carrying a Bag
o Check it is closed with the opening facing towards your body.
o Do not keep your keys in the bag. If your bag is snatched, at least you will still have your keys.
o If you’re jogging or cycling, remember to vary your route and the time that you exercise.
o Stick to well lit roads and pavements and avoid wooded areas.
Two key devices I recommend investing in are a cell phone and pepper spray because of the article published by Doug Adomatis of Turner Endeavors, Article Using the GPS for People Tracking, Using the GPS for People Tracking,
Doug Adomatis discussed how September 11, 2001, stimulated the demand for enhanced 911 (e911) emergency calling capabilities pushed forward GPS tracking technology in cell phones. At the end of 2005, all cell phone carriers were required to provide the ability to trace cell phone calls to a location within 100 meters or less. He recommends contacting your carrier to ensure they’re complying. If you feel you’re in danger be prepared to place a call to anyone because GPS could save your life. Pepper spray is legal in all fifty states. However, some states and cities have specific regulations pertaining to the purchase, possession and use of defense sprays. Please check with your local law enforcement agency for any regulations your state may have.